June 30, 2014  By Jack Jodell.

In association with the great writer BURR DEMING (shown below)  over at his fabulous website fairandunbalanced.com, I am happy to present this latest podcast Burr made recently dealing with a remark Hillary Clinton made a few days back, I couldn’t have stated it better myself! Awwww – the poor little rich girl! Have your speakers on, and just click on the link below for this latest sample of Burr’s wisdom. You can access his website directly and see lots of his other brilliance by clicking on its link on my blogroll listed in the column at right,  Enjoy! :-)



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June 26, 2014  By Jack Jodell.

This is the second installment of what will be an intermittent series on my personal social, economic, religious, and world politics beliefs as I see them at this particular point in time. As a rather introspective individual who is also a critical thinker, I thought I would exercise my right to free speech by posting this series of pieces. You may agree or disagree with some of my positions, and that is your prerogative. But keep in mind, I make a deliberate effort to be as well-read as possible, and have deliberated over all of these positions a great deal. I hope and think you will enjoy this exercise, and I urge you to comment as you see  fit.  

mr. monopoly tom donohue1). The American economy is broken and severely flawed. Its failures are numerous and spill over into, and pollute, nearly every other aspect of our culture. The capitalistic system (I am beginning to refer to it as CRAPitalism) has all but abandoned any concern it may have once had for the downtrodden, the young, the needy, and its workers and small businesspersons to pursue policies that make the wealthy even wealthier, often at the expense of those beneath them on the income scale, Yes, middle income and working poor people pay a relatively MUCH higher portion of their incomes in taxes than anyone else, and it is their taxes which are paying for care of the poor as well as for generous and wholly unneeded tax subsidies for the very wealthy and the huge multinational corporations they own.  CRAPitalism has also abandoned any loyalty or responsibility it may have once had for local communities  and even the nation itself. With its obsessive and malignant quest for ever more profits, it is creating millions upon millions of victims. Once it rewarded individual initiative and shared profits with all whose labor
2007 wealthproduced those profits. Now, it greedily keeps all profit for the wealthy even as it ships good paying American jobs and even entire American plants outside of her borders to cheaper, slave-wage labor markets. It hoards profits made from workers’ production gains for the wealthy, and it uses these profits to bribe politicians into reducing the wealthy’s taxes even further and scaling back or even eliminating regulations so that corporate profits can rise even further! All the while, it is holding workers’ wages down and cutting back on their benefits. The Crapitalists have scaled down and weakened regulations to the point where pollution is again on the rise and a huge and ever-increasing  amount of ads glut our television and radio broadcasts, and yet the crapitalists still cry out for more deregulation. . ANYTHING to increase corporate profits, and to hell with anyone who stands in the way. It is far too rapidly becoming a Libertarian dream come true, to the horror and nightmare of almost everyone else. This is not the type of economic system any sane worker or fair-minded individual can support. Opportunity has all but vanished, and the plutocrats running it all are slowly and cleverly pushing us back into feudalism. That’s right: SLAVERY! This is not progression: it is regression, and of the worst magnitude! We now have the worst disparity of wealth in our history, and that is nothing to be proud of! It is almost getting to the point where outright sabotage, widespread theft, or strong open rebellion could be justifiably called for. What human being in their right mind would ever take up arms to support such an unfair system? Let us hope that these greedy plutocrats begin to see the error of their ways and will actively correct themselves before all of that possible unrest occurs! 

corporatist supreme court2). The Supreme Court has become the EXTREME Court, and no longer represents the values of the majority of citizens. It has become corrupted with corporatism and issues decisions that are blatantly pro-business and pro-wealthy and also anti-worker and anti-individual freedom. This Roberts corporatismCourt is perhaps the most activist court ever, and certainly the most activist since the Roger B. Taney Court of 1836 – 1864, which gave us the notorious Dred Scott decision that many believe helped cause the Civil War. Like the Taney Court, our current Roberts Court has either ignored or falsely reinterpreted many longstanding legal precedents, mainly to fit in with its blatant pro-corporatist agenda. Its 2010 Citizens United ruling, among the worst in the history of the Supreme Court, is a notable case in bought electionspoint. This poorly conceived decision removed nearly all limits and restrictions on corporate campaign giving, allowing the wealthy to virtually buy tthe politician of their choice and, in the process, has virtually destroyed the concept and practice of one man-one vote which had been so vital and prevalent throughout so much of our past history.  After all, money is NOT free speech but is rather purchased speech, and there is a tremendous difference between the two! This is a dangerous new course the Extreme Court is plotting, and it will have disastrous consequences, just as its mid-19th century predecessor’s did.

3). Our television programming is rubbish, and an insult to the intelligence of every thinking person in the nation! We are drowning in a sea of bad commercial television programming. Shows like “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo”, “Pawn Stars”, “Naked and Afraid”, “Nightmare Next Door”, “Amosh Mafia”, “Duck Dynasty”, “Sex Sent Me to the ER”, “Desperate Housewives”, “Deadly Women:, “Evil Kin”, “Swamp People”, “Southern Fried Homicide”, “Long Island Medium”, “Wicked Attraction”, “Ancient Aliens”, “Deadly Sins”, “Back yo Amish”, “I (Almost) Got Away With It”, “Homicide Hunter”, and loads of others, ad nauseum, do nothing to educate the viewer, inform or engage critical thinking, appeal only to sexual or sensationalistic appetites, and  glorify racism and violent murder. Commercial TV used to show at least some restraint by running Viagra or Cialis or geminine jygiene ads only late at night, but now such ads are run without the slightest hesitation all day long. TV ads used to run only 8 minutes each broadcast hour, but now they run nearly THREE TIMES as much, and any semblance of restraint has gone completely out the window. I fear this constant appeal to the loerst common denominator in American commercial television is dummying-down the public rather expanded link tv logothan educating them, and that is NOT a good thing! Only on viewer-supported, non-commercial networks like free speech tvFREE SPEECH TV and LINK TV can one consistently find worthwhile, educational, and thought-provoking television, and, unfortunately, the viewership for these networks ranks much lower than it does for the other commercial networks.

4). Americans have developed a most UNHEALTHY obsession with national security and also with guns. Hermann Goering, Joseph Goebbels, and Adolf Hitler all used fear to promote their sordid agenda in World War II Bush-CheneyGermany, just as DICK Cheney and George W. Bush did to start the Iraqi War. VERY regrettably, Barack Obama’s National Security Agency is still going way over the top by monitoring all private phone calls and emails worldwide, and even by pressuring Major League Baseball to require all fans going to a game to first empty their pockets and go through a metal detector each time they enter the stadium. It doesn’t matter that most terrorists are now using relatively undetectable plastic explosives: ALL Americans must endure and submit to this NSA nonsense in the name of supposedly maintaining safety and security. Regarding guns, the most powerful lobby in the country remains the National Rifle Association. Despite record gun ownership gop deathand thousands of needless deaths of innocent people – even young CHILDREN – caused by gun-wielding wackos, irresponsible spokesmen like the NRA’s own Wayne LaPierre keep on harping that the solution is not less guns in the hands of those who should never possess one,  but MORE guns in the hands of everybody! I still sadly remember those poor innocent young first-graders being mowed down just before Christmas at Sandy Hook Elementary School,  and will never forgive the NRA for its piggish refusal to endorse the adoption of any new gun safety laws whatsoever…

Paranoids abound in both the NRA and the NSA, and though both groups claim that their goal is to provide safety and security for all, in reality, both may very well be jeopardizing it!

That’ll do it for this installment. Another edition will soon be forthcoming.


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June 23, 2014  By Jack Jodell.

I have long admired the writing of BURR DEMING, who is the founder of the fabulous website Fair and Unbalanced.com (found on my nlogroll at the right of this page). Mr. Deming has consistently provided much historical background and great deliberative insight into his writing, and even a bit of wry wit at times.  He has also begun to do creative podcasts on occasion. Today, I feature one of those podcasts, in association with Fair and Unbalanced.com. I will continue to feature these brilliant efforts from time to time, and I am sure you will enjoy them. So grab your headphones or turn on your speakers, click on the link below, and listen in on Burr’s wisdom. You won’t be disappointed! Today’s piece is called “Leadership, War, and “Centuries of Hatred.” Enjoy!  :-)   http://fairandunbalanced.podomatic.com/entry/2014-06-22T19_44_49-07_00   

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June 20, 2014  By Jack Jodell.

Being rather introspective at times, I thought I would exercise my right of free speech and put a number of my personal beliefs into this post. Rest assured that these beliefs have gradually evolved over a time of great deliberation; they cover a wide variety of topics and issues; NONE have been formulated using rash judgments; and none are set in stone. They represent what I believe at this moment I write them. As I am trying to be as comprehebsive as I can be, I will spread these out over a short series of intermittent posts. See how many of these YOU may agree or disagree with also, and feel free to add a comment later if you so desire.

jesus_lib1). I am a Christian who believes in the Holy Trinity, composed of God the Father, God the Son (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit. I am a dedicated member of the Religious Left, in that I believe strongly in God as being benevolent and merciful;  slow to anger and quick to forgive. I do NOT believe in forcing my religious beliefs upon others or in ramming it down everyone else’s throat (as certain Christians tend to do, many times those on the religious right). For God Himself gave each of us a free will, to either accept or reject Him. If we accept Him, at death we will be rewarded with an eternity in Heaven; but should we reject or challenge Him, we will pay for our disobedience with an eternity spent in hell. Unlike some Christians, I do not view my role on earth to be as God’s own personal sheriff, judge, jury, warden or executioner, loudly beating my chest publicly to castigate those whom I believe to be sinners. For there are a large number of Pharisees around to do that. Instead, I prefer a more modest approach of quietly offering praise and charity and only speaking up when aggressively challenged or to respond to untruths told by others by refuting their position with logic, and in a civil manner. I believe we are best serving God by leaving our egos and much of our condemnation at the door. I also strongly believe in the separation of church and state and strongly oppose any attempt to impose any sort of state religion on the country. By the way, I DO respect the right of atheists or agnostics to disagree with me.     

2). I believe it is high time this country elected a WOMAN President.  It is unjust that we, as a supposedly democratic nation, have neglected to do this. Hillary Clinton is the one most people think will achieve this honor, and she is certainly qualified enough to do the job (and is certainly far more qualified than were either George W. Bush or Warren G. Harding, two of the absolute worst and most UNqualified oafs to ever occupy the White House over the past century)! But Hillary has shown herself to be too much of a corporatist for my liking: she sat on the Wal-Mart board of directors; is an avid supporter of the horrid Trans Pacific Partnership (and has supported other similar “free trade” deals like NAFTA in the past); and has voted in favor of the Iraq War and even supported Bush’s “troop surge” there. In my estimation, ELIZABETH WARREN would make the warren 2very best woman President. She has always been a friend of working families in that she has been a strong advocate of a  livable minimum wage, and a strong opponent of Wall Street banking shenanigans like sub-prime mortgages. Rather than servicing the wants of the wealthy, she has, instead, devoted her life and career to the betterment of the lives of the working poor and rhe middle class.

Thumbs-down-icon3). The Tea Party must GO!!! It has become the most destructive and obstructive conglomeration of reactionary and anti-government fanatics this country has ever seen. Created by wealthy, cynical, and manipulative  Libertarian / anarchist types like Dick Armey and the notorious Koch brothers, it has melded together a whole group of malcontents and half-educated government-hating crackpots into a force which has infested and corrupted the Republican DON't TREADParty. This nefarious group has passed NOTHING of any benefit to the overwhelming majority of this  country. and NONE of its members deserve a seat in government or to be on the public payroll. This evil group has deliberately lied to and confused vulnerable elderly people as well as other. low-information voters, and hates the poor and minorities,  doing all that it can to keep the federal government from helping those who are neediest and who require help the most. This is a force which hates not only government, but democracy itself. For the good of this country, it MUST cease to exist, and as soon as possible!

CASHROLLkoch bros4). I believe in DEMOCRACY and in free elections, and strongly oppose any attempt by big money to buy the votes of public servants or the ability of big money to dominate or control our electoral process. I view regulation of big money as essentially necessary to prevent excesses being committed against the politically and economically weak by the wealthy using government for its own benefit at the expense of all others. I am STRONGLY AGAINST the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United ruling, as I do NOT believe that using money to influence voters is the same as exercising free speech. It gives the rich a much bigger voice than those beneath them have and creates an unfair advantage for them. I also do NOT believe that corporations are people and are entitled to the same rights as an actual living, breathing human being is. In my view, that is complete and utter nonsense!

5).  While I am opposed to abortion, I am essentially pro-choice. I personally HATE abortion and actually view its reckless and irresponsible use as a deliberate act of cowardly murder,  Yet I nonetheless respect fully a woman’s right to determine what happens with her own body. Her decision should be a personal matter between her, her mate, her physician, and God, and the State should keep its nose completely out of the matter altogether.  Were I to become involved in the matter, I would strongly urge the woman choosing abortion to consider having the child and then putting it up for adoption, or to explore becoming a surrogate mother for a couple who definitely desires a child but cannot have one for whatever reason. Those who choose abortion over life simply because bearing a child would be too “costly”, too “inconvenient at the moment”, too “embarrassing”, or simply because one is “not ready” or “doesn’t want” any children are, in my view, the epitome of self-centered, cruel, and thoughtless. Public monies must never be available to  persons in this category for abortions! I guess this stance would make me be pro-life. In the case of rape or incest, I will make an exception. For NO ONE has the right to force an unjustified or unwanted pregnancy, with all of its awesome subsequent life-long responsibility and commitment on an unwilling woman. Right or wrong, I believe such a victimized person should be granted the legal right to end such a pregnancy. No matter how the situation is sliced or diced, it remains a difficult problem with no easy solutions, regardless of the path one chooses to follow.      

DICK the dick6).  Like the Tea Party, the warmongering, paranoid neocons must also GO! Those who create war for profit, like DICK Cheney did with Iraq, and each of his willing followers – like his daughter Liz, Donald Rumsfeld, and Paul Wolfowitz, as well as a great many others, are all guilty of perpetrating war crimes and justice demands that each stand trial and be sentenced for their brutal crimes which either killed or maimed hundreds of thousands of victims!  These people have nothing but contempt for democracy and aim to keep this country on a permanent war footing to fill the coffers of their greedy contractor friends at taxpayer expense. THIS blogger has nothing but contempt for THEM!

We are now at the end of my first installment in this series. Future installments will be forthcoming.                                         


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June 14, 2014  By Jack Jodell.

It really galls me to think of how greedy Wall Street bankers nearly plunged the entire world into another Great Depression in 2008. Even MORE galling, though, is the thought that NONE of these arrogant, elitist, greedy 1%-ers have yet to be brought up on charges or have ever done even one day of jail time for having caused millions of innocent people worldwide to lose their jobs and homes, and to have caused great undue anxiety and misery for them. I label the greedy perpetrators of the Great Recession of 2008 as economic terrorists, as their calculating, foolhardy, and deliberate actions have unnecessarily stricken untold millions with tremendous uncertainty and fear. These guilty parties simply MUST be tried and imprisoned for the grief and hardship their irresponsible actions wrought onto others!

VERY regrettably, though, they will not have to endure that fate and will instead be enabled to walk away completely free to enrich themselves even further at our expense!

I note with much satisfaction that a great many other very intelligent people throughout history, most wiser than I,   have shared my scorn for this greedy class of people known as bankers and the banking industry of which they are a part. Of course, I do not aim to castigate all bankers in this post; merely the reckless and overly greedy ones who speculate for profit and end up carelessly  gambling away everybody else’s cash and investments and then walk away without shame.  Some of the persons’ identities presented below  may surprise you, but I’m sure you will also echo their sentiments. These great persons’ thoughts are as follows:  

lincoln“The money powers prey upon the nation in times of peace, and conspire against it in times of adversity. The banking powers are more despotic than a monarchy, more insolent than autocracy, more selfish than bureaucracy. They denounce as public enemies all who question their  methods or shed light upon their crimes. I have two great enemies, the Southern Army before me, and the bankers in the rear. Of the two, the one at my rear is the greatest foe. Corporations have been enthroned, and an era of corruption in high places will follow. The money powers of the country will endeavour to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until the wealth is aggregated in the hands of the few, and the Republic is destroyed.”

“I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies.”

“Issue of currency should be lodged with the government and protected from domination by Wall Street. We are opposed to provisions that would place our currency and credit system in private hands,”

jackson“Gentlemen, I have had men watching you for a long time and I am convinced that you have used the funds of the bank to speculate in the breadstuffs of the country. When you won, you divided the profits amongst you, and when you lost, you charged it to the bank. You tell me if I take the deposits from the bank and annul its charter, I shall ruin ten thousand families. That may be true, gemtlemen, but that is YOUR sin! Should I let you go on, you will ruin fifty thousand families, and that would be MY sin! You are a den of vipers and thieves!”

“The trade of the petty usurer is hated with most reason:
it makes a profit from currency itself, instead of making it
from the process which currency was meant to serve.
Their common characteristic is obviously their sordid avarice.”

napoleon“When a government is dependent upon bankers for money, they and not the leaders of the government control the situation, since the hand that gives is above the hand that takes. .. Money has no motherland;  financiers are without patriotism and without decency; their sole object is gain.”

“The central bank is an institution of the most deadly hostility against the Principles and form of our Constitution. I am the Enemy to all banks discounting bills or notes for anything but Coin. If the American People allow private banks to control the issuance of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the People of all their Property until their Children will wake up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered.”

“History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments by controlling money and its issuance,”

“Money plays the biggest part in determining the course of history.”

fdr colorized“We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob…”

“The bold effort the present (central) bank had made to control the government…are but premonitions of the fate that awaits the American people should they be deluded into a perpetuation of this institution or the establishment of another like it.”

“The study of money, above all other fields in economics, is one in which complexity is used to disguise truth or to evade truth, not to reveal it. The process by which banks create money is so simple the mind is repelled. With something so important, a deeper mystery seems only decent.”

Leo Tolstoy“Money is a new form of slavery, and distinguishable from the old by the fact that it is impersonal – that there is no human relation between master and slave,”

“It is well enough that people of our nation do not understand our banking and money system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.”

bismarck“The death of Lincoln was a disaster for States great enough to wear his boots and the bankers went anew to grab the riches. I fear that foreign bankers with their craftiness and torturous tricks will entirely control the exuberant riches of America and use it to systematically corrupt civilization.”

“He who is not contented with what he has would not be contented with what he would like to have.”
–  SOCRATES  –     

“Let me issue and control a nation’s money and I care not who writes the laws.”

“The modern banking system manufactures money out of nothing. The process is, perhaps, the most astounding piece of sleight of hand that was ever invented. Banks can in fact inflate, mint, and in-mind the modern ledger-entry currency.”

“It is to be regretted that the rich and powerful too often bend the acts of government to their own selfish purposes.”

“The real truth of the matter is, as you and I know, that a financial element in the large centers has owned the government ever since the days of Andrew Jackson.”

elizabeth“People feel like the system is rigged against them, and here is the painful part: the system IS rigged!”

The above quotes undeniably prove that banking shenanigans have been longstanding and pervasive throughout much of recorded human history. No nation or culture has been immune from them. It is amazing to see how even our Founding Fathers and earliest Presidents had the wisdom and foresight to recognize what a threat our financial institutions could become if they were not regulated in some fashion. For concentrated capital ALWAYS wants, more, more, MORE and, if left unchecked, will stampede like a herd of raging bulls, destroying everything in its path until it gets what it wants. Occasionally, the power of banks and bankers has been reined in (as was the case during the New Deal). These swindlers and thieves are NOT invincible, and are extremely in need of being controlled today. The so-called “free market economics” touted so long by reactionary Libertarians and far-right conservative Republicans are a MYTH and are an absolute insult to every American who works for a living! We have entered a wild, wild west [n this country,where anything goes in finance and banking, and we are sorely in need of a “Marshall Dillon” NOW, before the richest 1% minority completely wipes out those of us in the lower 99% MAJORITY. That is why we cannot abandon the fight for economic justice, and why it is imperative that we once again rein in these scoundrels NOW, and always in the days ahead! This will be a daunting task, but in spite of the armada of bought-out corporate toadies who lie before us in Congress, we can, MUST and WILL prevail if we remain committed! To those naysayers who suggest it is too tough to overcome the vast amount of pro-corporate money and influence spread all throughout our government and economy, I remind you that a timid young seamstress named Rosa Parks helped launch a very successful fight for human rights and human dignity against seemingly impossible odds back in the 1950s. If we progressives of today work as hard as she did, refuse to be cowed by big money, and keep up the fight, WE TOO shall overcome the corporatist tyranny we have fallen prey to. Keep in mind, we are NOT alone in this fight: we have potentially powerful allies in Senators Bernie Sanders, Sherrod Brown, Elizabeth Warren, Al Franken, Ron Wyden, and Jeff Merkley, among others. We must encourage them to reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act to limit the disastrous speculation which led to our near financial meltdown. For, in politics and economics, NOTHING is impossible – so FIGHT ON, BROTHERS AND SISTERS, FIGHT ON! :-)                                  

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June 9, 2014  By Jack Jodell.

According to the Encyclopedia of Psychology, a “delusion of grandeur is the fixed, false belief that one possesses superior qualities such as genius, fame, omnipotence, or wealth. It is most often a symptom of schizophrenia, but can also be a symptom found in psychotic or bipolar disorders, as well as dementia (such as Alzheimer’s).”

The more I think of it, the more I am becoming convinced that the United States has been operating under “delusions of grandeur” for much of its recorded history! In its earliest days, under the guise of practicing economic freedom, plantation owners (including many of our Founding Fathers) willfully engaged in the barbaric use of slavery, even as many of them were promoting the creation of a “free” and “democratic” nation, For their idea of free went only as far as the aristocracy was concerned. Working folks who were not property owners were to be excluded from participation in elections, but they could die in battle to defend them by joining the armed services, of course. But when it came to actually voting in an election, they were disqualified simply because they owned no real estate. Those in power in our very earliest days had a great distrust of, and paranoia of, the masses. They believed they were socially and culturally superior to the great many who lacked property, so they disenfranchised those people completely. So too was it for freed slaves and other minorities following the Civil War. Poll taxes and other ways were used to prevent those people from voting. Direct election of senators eas forbidden until 1913, and WOMEN weren’t even allowed to vote until the election of 1920! Now THOSE are certainly examples of arrogance and  “delusions of grandeur”, don’t you agree?

Though it was Germany’s Otto von Bismarck who pioneered the modern welfare state way back in the 1870s, and while for many years far too many Americans have erroneously believed that the United States has always been at the forefront of progress in nearly all things social, economic, and even governmental, it took our country more than 60 years to implement its own Bismarck-style social welfare programs with the coming of the New Deal in 1933! Had Wall Street and various other banking and business tycoons not trashed our economy by putting us into the Great Depression in 1929, we might, even today, still be without such much-needed and valuable programs as Social Security, General Assistance, unemployment insurance, workman’s  compensation, overtime pay, a minimum wage, and even Medicare and Medicaid, which were added in the 1960s and have kept literally millions of seniors and handicapped persons financially solvent! It is very important that we Americans know how we lagged far behind most of the rest of the world in creating this economic safety net for our citizens – to insist that it was otherwise is ludicrous and completely delusional.

For many years in the 19th century, and to a large degree again even today, American labor was completely shut out of what could easily have become, and SHOULD have become, an ECONOMIC democracy! Robber barons were free to create monopolies and trusts, and set their prices as they saw fit, often at a rate that was impossibly high for average working people to be able to afford. Yet the American worker was not at all free to pursue his own happiness and had no leverage or meaningful input at all on either the wages he made or the prices he was forced to pay. This was the norm until Franklin D. Roosevelt, together with a Congress LOADED with LIBERAL Democrats, legalized labor unions in this country and established other progressive legislation like the minimum wage. Once granted the power to collectively bargain for better wages and working conditions, labor unions pushed for livable wages in ALL industries and basically created a very large and internationally enviable  middle class.

For much too long, lots of the citizens of the United States have regarded themselves as somehow superior to the peoples of other countries. We have looked down on the “Krauts” of Germany; referred to Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese condescendingly as “gooks” or “chinks” or “nips”‘; Arabs and Muslims as “ragheads”; Puerto Ricans as “spics”; Mexicans as “wetbacks”; and Italians as “wops”, to name but a few. We are so very quick to condemn or criticize these peoples, ignoring the fact that the hard work of each of these groups has led to tremendous economic benefit for this country!

The sad truth of the matter is that the rest of the world does not revolve around us, nor has every single important scientific invention been created here. We are NOT the be-all or end-all of the world; the world does NOT belong to us ; and rather than being superior to many other nations and peoples, we are actually inferior to many of them and need to get on the ball soon or be left in the dust!

Our ethnocentric arrogance and ignorance has led us to bully smaller nations around the world and our greed has led us to invade and occupy them. It has also caused us to carelessly meddle in their own affairs and has caused a great deal of fully justified and completely unneeded animosity toward us.

Regarding psychotic behavior, what could possibly be more psychotic than the recent Tea Party-infested Republican Party’s refusal to pass a jobs creation bill during our ridiculously slow recovery from the Great Recession of 2008, which their lapsed regulatory policies helped create? Or their insistence on slashing taxes for billionaires even further at a time they claim to want to reduce our deficit and debt? Or their attempt to impose an austerity budget at a time in which millions of workers remain unemployed or severely UNDERemployed? Or their insistence on continuing to give tax subsidies to wealthy multinational oil companies who are making record profits and do not need any further tax relief? Or their ridiculing of those who warn about the dangers of man-made climate change, even in the face of staggering scientific evidence that the phenomenon is real and is rapidly approaching the crisis stage? Talk about being out of touch with reality and out of touch with what the overwhelming 99% MAJORITY of this country REALLY needs and wants!

We have managed to build a very strong country over the past 200+ years, but we have NOT always been in the lead on everything. OUR way has NOT always been the best or the only way to go! It has been the diversity of a great number of immigrants which has tempered this country and turned it into the powerhouse it has become. We are not islands and cannot stand alone. We cannot justify the kind of paranoia being practiced by our National Security Agency, which has colluded with several major key industries to spy on our communications, and even our allies worldwide! Believing otherwise is completely irrational, and is yet another in a long line of our  dangerous delusions of grandeur!

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June 2, 2014  By Jack Jodell.

A major political development occurred over the past few days involving an incumbent governor of a large state, his future political ambitions, his party’s state convention, and the way in which this governor was forced by a growing and very vocal third party to publicly endorse a much more progressive economic policy than the one he had been following.

cuomo rIt has been fairly obvious to many political observers that Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York has been trying to position himself for a future run at the White House. He has used a methodology that many Democratic politicians have used in recent years to gain office and maintain power: court those to the left with big social promises, while delivering tax breaks for the wealthy to obtain funding and support from fat cats and the business community.  Cuomo is well aware that a huge majority in his bid for re-election this fall would greatly aid his chances of receiving a   giant electoral majority. A recent poll shows him leading his closest  GOP challenger by a sizable 57% – 26% margin, yet he wants to increase this lead even further.

Cuomo first won election in 2010 by defeating his Tea Party challenger in a landslide. He managed this victory in an otherwise extremely successful year for the reactionary Tea Party by winning a huge and nearly universal majority WFPof votes from New York’s boldest and most progressive third party, the Working Families Party.  This third party was originally begun by a grassroots coalition of neighborhood activists and community organizers, with a large backing from  organized labor. It came into being because of voter disgust with the way that corporations and big money have come to corrupt and basically own both major American political parties, making it virtually impossible for the poor as well as for working and middle class Americans   to receive the fair electoral representation to which they are guaranteed by the Constitution. Whereas the Democratic Party used to be the proud party of the poor and working Americans, to many this is now no longer the case. Voters have seen far too many Democrats position themselves barely a degree or two the left of an ever-increasingly conservative and even reactionary, backward-thinking Republican Party, and they have steadily lost economic ground to wealthy corporatists as a result. Due to this abandonment of working class needs and wants, parties like the WFP are beginning to roar into existence.

Support for Cuomo began disappearing soon after he took office. WFP voters saw that, while he was doing a great job on cultural issues like gay rights and gun control, on economic issues he had all but abandoned Main Street in pursuit of policies designed  to primarily benefit the wealthy and Wall Street instead. Many former supporters began to view him as a traitor, and some cuomo leven began “Dump Cuomo” movements. As a number of WFP voters were also members of Cuomo’s Democratic Party, these angry, disaffected voters began to threaten to split the party, something Cuomo wants to avoid at all costs! For a time, they were threatening to put up a WFP member to actually challenge Cuomo for the Democratic Party’s nomination for governor. Cuomo, aware of the perils that could result from this, quickly took notice and became alarmed. He saw that polls showed that, were a WFP candidate to enter the race, that candidate would grab an astounding 20 points off Cuomo’s comfortable lead, and would reduce it to a shaky plurality of Cuomo 37% to the GOP challenger’s 24% to the WFP challenger’s 22%! It is clear to see from all of this that New York voters, much like many other parts of our country, are strongly rejecting the reactionary Tea Party philosophy of using obstruction to block much-needed legislation and imposing ridiculously harsh austerity budgets on a public still smarting from underemployment, meager job creation, and low wages. Even more importantly, though, they are rejecting politicians who are placing their own political advancement well in front of the constituents who elected them.

Even more striking is the anger more and more voters are starting to feel with weak-kneed, overly cautious Democrats, whom they correctly believe have all but abandoned them to placate wealthy, uncaring plutocrats! This blogger, and many others, shares their dismay with the way the Democratic Party has shifted far to the right of where it once proudly stood prior to the conservative / reactionary sludge slide that began with the Reagan administration of the 1980s. We have HAD IT with wimpy “Blue Dog” Democrats who have become “Republican Lite” corporatists  instead of pushing for a fairer, more progressive political and economic agenda!

New York is one of those unique states where a single candidate can appear on an election ballot with more than one party’s endorsement. Cuomo, of course, appeared on the 2010 gubernatorial ballot under both the Democratic Party’s and the Working Family Party’s heading, If a voter cast a ballot for him under the Democratic Party’s label, the Democrats would get credit for that vote. And, were a voter to cast a ballot under the WFP heading (as many voters did that year), that party would get credit for the vote, Because so many voters voted for Cuomo under the WFP banner, it gave them enough votes to be listed again on this year’s ballots. With the real possibility of the WFP running their own candidate for governor becoming a very real possibility, Cuomo began to see the handwriting on the wall quite clearly, and knew it was time for him to swing hos campaign more to the left to avoid losing this very significant bloc of progressive voters.
cuomo cavesSo, to avert a potential disaster, Cuomo  publicly issued a statement calling for all disaffected Democrats to unite behind him and begin to push for a more progressive agenda going forward. For, while New York’s statehouse is dominated by Democrats (on paper, at least), a number of these Democrats tend to side with Republicans often to block progressive legislation. It is hoped that, as a result of this call for unity, Democratic majorities will overwhelmingly swell to the point where truly progressive legislation can actually be passed and signed into law.  
It is still too early to tell if Cuomo will actually keep his word, but the potentially encouraging thing is that the Working Families Party may have actually succeeded in forcing a major Democratic governor into reestablishing traditional Democratic Party policies into his governing agenda – only time will tell.      
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